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Observations BMJ Confidential

Kiran Jobanputra: Humanitarian in the field

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 31 October 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4325
Duncan Smith


Kiran Jobanputra, 42, is deputy medical director of the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Amsterdam centre and head of its Manson Unit in London. He read medicine at Edinburgh University and took a masters degree at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. As a trainee GP he volunteered to work in a community hospital in India and then worked for MSF in Somalia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger, Swaziland, Haiti, and North Korea. The Manson Unit, which takes its name from Patrick Manson (“the father of modern tropical medicine”), provides medical advisory and implementation support to MSF’s field programmes. Current projects include developing shorter treatment regimens for drug resistant tuberculosis and using geographic information systems to strengthen responses to outbreaks. As deputy medical director, Jobanputra provides strategic and technical guidance for medical activities in 21 countries, as well as overseeing research.

What was your earliest ambition?

I first visited my extended family in Tanzania at age 13 and saw people with leprosy begging for food. I remember feeling paralysed by the injustice of what I saw, and I felt a strong desire to do something …

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